Overview

Edith Cavell was born on 4th December 1865, daughter of the vicar of Swardeston in Norfolk, and shot in Brussels on 12th October 1915 by the Germans for sheltering British and French soldiers and helping them escape over the Belgian border.

Following a traditional village childhood in 19th century England, Edith worked as a governess in the UK and abroad, before training as a nurse in London in 1895. To Edith, nursing was a duty, a vocation, ...
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Edith Cavell

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Overview

Edith Cavell was born on 4th December 1865, daughter of the vicar of Swardeston in Norfolk, and shot in Brussels on 12th October 1915 by the Germans for sheltering British and French soldiers and helping them escape over the Belgian border.

Following a traditional village childhood in 19th century England, Edith worked as a governess in the UK and abroad, before training as a nurse in London in 1895. To Edith, nursing was a duty, a vocation, but above all a service. By 1907, she had travelled most of Europe and become matron of her own hospital in Belgium, where, under her leadership, a ramshackle hospital with few staff and little organization became a model nursing school.

When war broke out, Edith helped soldiers to escape the war by giving them jobs in her hospital, finding clothing and organizing safe passage into Holland. In all, she assisted over two hundred men. When her secret work was discovered, Edith was put on trial and sentenced to death by firing squad. She uttered only 130 words in her defense. A devout Christian, the evening before her death, she asked to be remembered as a nurse, not a hero or a martyr, and prayed to be fit for heaven.

When news of Edith’s death reached Britain, army recruitment doubled. After the war, Edith’s body was returned to the UK by train and every station through which the coffin passed was crowded with mourners.

Diana Souhami brings one of the Great War’s finest heroes to life in this biography of a hardworking, courageous and independent woman.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623652395
  • Publisher: Quercus
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 652,679
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books, and she has also written plays for radio and television. She won the Whitbread Biography Award for Selkirk's Island, her biography of Alexander Selkirk, or as he is better known, Robinson Crusoe.
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Table of Contents

Part One: Birth; The Vicar's Daughter; Growing Up; School; The English Governess; A German Summer; The Belgian Governess. Part Two: No Hospital Training; The Fever Nurse; The Probationer; Maidstone; Back to The London; Mellish Ward; The Infirmaries; A Holiday. Part Three: Setting Up; The School Goes On; Family Life; Fresh Efforts in the Good Cause; War Declared. Part Four: The Arrival of the Enemy; Occupation; The Lost Children; Yorc; My Darling Mother; The Men Who Died in Swathes; Christmas 1914; Organisation; The Men She Helped; Watched; Arrest. Part Five: First Interrogation; Between Interrogations; The Others; The Escape of the Prince de Croy; The Second Interrogation; Solitary Confinement; The Efforts of the Others; The Trial - Thursday 7 October; The Trial - Friday 8 October; Saturday 9 October; Sunday 10 October; Monday 11 October - Day; Monday 11 October - Evening; Monday 11 October - Night; What Was Left of the Night; Tuesday 12 October - Day. Part Six: The Remains of the Day and the Following Days; Propaganda; German Reaction; No Monuments; Endgame; Remembered. Notes and Index: Notes; Books and electronic sources; Acknowledgements; Index.

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